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Buying for the love of Math? - Logos with golden ratio
Here are some of the most popular brands which have used the golden ratio (φ) to induce the perfect harmony and balance in their logos.
Remember the yellow square in the National Geographic logo? Have you ever wondered why that simple logo appears to be so appealing? The answer is, as you might know, the Golden Ratio! The length and width of the square have a ratio of 1.61. It is quite fitting for an organization with a motto of “inspiring people to care about the planet” to have a logo based on the golden rectangle.
The new logo of Pepsi has been much simpler and effective, characterized by spare, pure design. It looks intriguing and beautiful. Almost like a laughing emoticon in red and blue. But did you know that the underlying backbone of the Pepsi logo follows the golden ratio? The Pepsi brand is created by intersecting circles with a set proportion to each other. And, the proportion: Golden Ratio (φ).
Apple is one of those very few companies that do not have the company name in their logo. Yet, the Apple logo is one of the most recognized corporate symbols in the world. The logo is perfectly balanced, and the outlines that map the logo are circles with diameters proportionate to the Fibonacci series. Did Rob Janoff really considered the Fibonacci series while designing it, or is it a coincidence? Well, somebody needs to ask Mr. Janoff. Interestingly, in a different context, in an interview, Rob Janoff said, “… and years later you find out supposedly why you did certain things. And, they are all BS. It’s a wonderful urban legend.”
Another product from Apple, and again a masterpiece of design. The ripples on the cloud are made up of circles whose diameters are proportional to the you-know-what number. Also the containing rectangle, as shown below, is a golden rectangle. In fact, most of the Apple products, ranging from ipods to iPhone are golden rectangles. These amazing Apple designers!
BP is one of the world’s leading international oil and gas companies. They launched their new logo in 2000. What appears to be an attractive logo, however, turns out to be formed of concentric circles, again proportional to the Fibonacci sequence. Is it a mere co-incidence or a planned execution?
The logo of Toyota consists of three ovals. “The two intersecting ellipses are intended to represent the customer and the product… and the importance of that relationship”, according to an e-mail from Mike Michels, VP of Communication at Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. “The outer ring represents the world and the global nature of our business.” On a closer look one can easily find a grid based on φ in their logo. The phi-grid is formed by gridlines at certain separation – the separations being in the ratio of the golden ratio φ.
The campaign was an instant smash: Pepsi’s sales shot up nearly 40 percent, and its executives, now drunk with that sweet, sweet marketing power, expanded the number of prizes to over 1,500 and kept the contest rolling for an extra five weeks. Filipinos drank Pepsi “with every meal and snack” and hoarded the possibly precious bottle caps. When the contest was over, it was estimated that more than half of the Philippines’ population of 63 million people had participated. Number Fever was an enormous success, and all that was left was for Pepsi to announce the winner.
So how could such a successful marketing campaign backfire, you ask? Well, certain numbers were not to be selected as the winner; specifically, the number 349, seeing as how it happened to be printed on800,000 bottle caps. But the consulting firm hired to draw the winning number apparently didn’t get the memo, and when their computer chose the winning number, it selected … wait for it … 349. Unsurprisingly, Pepsi executives quickly went from “wet dreams about next year’s bonus check” to “bathing in a tub full of whiskey with a hair dryer nearby” when thousands upon thousands of elated Filipinos came forward to claim their million pesos.
Knowing they had made a huge mistake and for some reason unwilling to pay out the billions of dollars in prize money they technically owed, Pepsi covered its ass by telling the winners that the caps didn’t contain the correct security code. Then, amazingly, hordes of almost millionaires politely responded “Oh, that’s OK, we understand!” and contentedly went on with their lives. Just kidding – the Philippines went absolutely apeshit.